Government at a standstill

I attended an Indivisible march in Medford last month in light of the Trump agenda and Cabinet picks and in support of the values I hold dear: an America for the tired, the poor and those longing to be free; a country that supports and educates all its citizens, not just those with means; a forward-thinking government that seeks to protect and preserve public lands for future generations and the health of our planet through renewable energy and environmental regulations; a place that takes care of its elderly, its disadvantaged, its sick and wounded. A country that is held in high esteem throughout the world for our ideals: generosity, compassion, equality, free speech, fairness, individual rights and freedoms.

We are stifled by government at a standstill. Our two-party system is a divisive tool that empowers a few by driving a wedge between our varying opinions. None of us want to lose control of our right to choose how we live. We are all imperfect; do we really have a right to judge others for their life choices (religion, lifestyle, sexual orientation, philosophy) when made without malice?

Can we work toward respectfully standing together as one nation, without fear, indivisible?

Shirley Stanfield

Medford

Jobs aren't coming back

Our new president will not be able to deliver on a major promise to his core supporters:  the return of all the U.S. jobs that have disappeared.

In the heat of a campaign rally, with Trump and his audience egging each other on, it may have been comforting to believe the simplistic explanation that this loss was caused primarily by jobs going abroad. Such a belief had the added benefit of providing human targets for people’s anger — unscrupulous foreign competitors and greedy, uncaring CEOs of U.S. corporations.

Two recent columns by George Will (Dec. 29 and Jan. 26) have provided ample evidence that most job losses in manufacturing and retail sales resulted from advances in technology: automation, robots, artificial intelligence. Trade barriers can’t bring those jobs back.

Modern Luddites might try to sabotage computers and robots. They would have no more success than the 19th century textile workers who smashed machinery, hoping to reverse an increase in productivity that threatened their jobs. Much as we might like to, we can’t go back to the conditions of an earlier time.

Dean Ayers

Medford

Monument congratulations

Congratulations and affirmations to keep fighting the good fight to all those who made the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument a reality. Keep steadfast in your defense, for public lands are one of the noblest ideals we have going for this country. You're realizing the value in these places that far exceed their fleeting monetary gains — the values benefiting our well-being and health, the nation's well-being and health, the planet's well-being and health, and our future's very survival.

A particularly enthusiastic pat on the back goes to local businesses and landowners that are blazing a new trail in achieving success through ways that keep our environment in mind rather than keeping the focus on our antiquated, consumption-driven economy. The same proud support goes to all those 80-plus scientists and the Tribune included, championing legitimate and honest scientific methods and responsible deduction in order to stand up for what is right.

What is right is a wildlife corridor we have here in the introduced monument, a solution to our own, our nation's, our planet's, and our future's well-being and health.

Carly Holthaus

Ashland